Parks Interpretive Internship

Parks Interpretive Internship

Kittitas County – Ellensburg, WA
Job Type
Parks and Recreation Commission
Job Number
An image without description

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

AGENCY PROFILE                                                                                                        

State Parks is governed by a board of seven volunteer citizens appointed by the Governor. Commission members serve staggered six-year terms, setting public policy and guiding the agency. The Washington state park system includes more than 100 developed parks, recreation programs, trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Our Mission
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission cares for Washington’s most treasured lands, waters and historic places. State parks connect all Washingtonians to their diverse natural and cultural heritage and provide memorable recreational and educational experiences that enhance their lives. 

Our Vision
Washington’s state parks will be cherished destinations with natural, cultural, recreational, artistic and interpretive experiences that all Washingtonians enjoy, appreciate and proudly support.

Washington State Parks employs more than 500 permanent staff and more than 350 seasonal and temporary staff throughout the state. The headquarters office is located in Tumwater, and region offices are located in Burlington, East Wenatchee and Tumwater.


This announcement will be used to fill one unpaid internship for one term working with the Central Cascades Area – primarily Olmstead Place or Ginkgo Petrified Forest.

Please Note: This internship opportunity is 1 to 5 credits, depending on the student need.  1 credit = 40 hours of internship time.  10% of the hours are purely academic, working on a journal and reflective essay or other department requirements.    This internship is unpaid and is NOT eligible for benefits.

This posting will remain open until filled. It is in the candidate’s best interest to submit application materials as soon as possible.  The hiring authority reserves the right to fill this position at any time.

For more information on Washington State parks please visit click here!

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment, please contact the manager listed in the “Supplemental Information” section of this publication.

The goal of this internship is to provide training for students to learn the basics of real-life Interpretation as a career.  Primary activities will include guided program research and development, observation/support in program delivery, and assistance with program materials care and maintenance.  The Intern will learn about interpretive programs, displays, signage and other educational endeavors.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Research education/interpretive pedagogy.
  • Research facilities, equipment, artifacts (age, origin, materials, interesting facts, etc.) and/or natural resources.
  • Compile research into program proposal for specific audience; give presentation with staff support and assessment.
  • Assist with maintenance, arrangement and organization of artifacts and interpretive materials.
  • Observe and assist Interpretive staff with preparations for and presentations to various audiences on diverse topics.
  • Maintain an academic journal and complete a reflective essay.

  • Junior or Senior standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Current student pursuing a history, anthropology, museum studies, recreation/tourism, or education major or minor.
  • Transportation.


  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to interact with the public in a professional manner.
  • Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to be proactive and work independently as needed.
  • Professional work ethic.
Supplemental Information
To be considered for this position, you must submit the following application materials:

  • Cover letter stating why you are interested in the internship and specifically addressing the qualifications listed in the announcement.
  • Resume.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a University faculty member.
  • Current unofficial transcripts.

NOTE:  Prior to starting in this intern role, a background check, including criminal record history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude you from this opportunity, but will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the internship.

All requested materials must be submitted. Incomplete materials will not be accepted. Failure to follow application process may disqualify you from further consideration.

Laura Busby, Interpretive Specialist
(509) 925-1943

Diversity Policy Statement
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is committed to creating an equitable, hospitable, appreciative, safe, and inclusive park environment – one that embraces the full spectrum of all community members’ contributions. The Commission makes this commitment because:

  • Diversity strengthens the workforce in competence and ability;
  • Celebrating diversity appreciates and values individual differences;
  • Diversity serves an increasingly heterogeneous society;
  • Diversity helps ensure the relevance of a state park system, its mission, properties, and programs to the people of this state today and in the future; and
  • Diversity is crucial to our ability to serve all citizens.

The Commission encourages and supports staff efforts to reach out to people of all races, national origins, abilities, religions, sexual orientations, veteran status, ages, and genders who use the parks and who live in communities nearby parks. This outreach is to focus on engaging in partnerships that expand programs and services in a way that is meaningful and of value to all people. The Commission is dedicated to offering quality experiences to all visitors through a workforce and volunteer corps that reflects the diversity of Washington State.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the human resources office at (360) 902-8565. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

More than Just a Paycheck!
Employee benefits are not just about the kind of services you get, they are also about how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Washington State offers one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation.

We understand that your life revolves around more than just your career and that your priority is making sure that you and your family will maintain health and financial security. That’s why choice is a key component of our benefits package. We have a selection of health and retirement plans, paid leave, staff training and other compensation benefits that you can mix and match to meet your current and future needs.

Read about our benefits:
The following information describes typical benefits available for full-time employees who are expected to work more than six months. Actual benefits may vary by appointment type or be prorated for other than full-time work. Check with the agency human resource office for specific benefit information.
Insurance Benefits
Employees and families are covered by medical (including vision), dental and basic life insurance.  There are multiple medical plans with affordable monthly premiums that offer coverage throughout the state.  Staff are eligible to enroll each year in a medical flexible spending account which enables them to use tax-deferred dollars toward their health care expenses.  Employees are also covered by basic life and long term disability insurance, with the option to purchase additional coverage amounts.  To view premium rates, coverage choice in your area and how to enroll, please visit the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) website.
Retirement and Deferred Compensation
State Employees are members of the Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).  New employees have the option of two employer contributed retirement programs.  For additional information, check out the Department of Retirement Systems‘ web site.
Employees also have the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP).  This is a supplemental retirement savings program (similar to an IRA) that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.
Vacation (Annual Leave)
You begin accruing vacation starting your first month of employment. Since we value your loyalty, the amount of vacation you can accrue increases the longer you work with us. Washington State supports members of the armed forces with 21 days paid military leave per year. Vacation accrues for full-time employees per WAC 357-31-165.


Full-time employees are entitled to eleven* paid holidays:

New Year’s Day
January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday
Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day
Third Monday in February
Memorial Day
Last Monday in May
Independence Day
July 4
Labor Day
First Monday in September
Veterans’ Day
November 11
Thanksgiving Day
Fourth Thursday in November & Friday after
Christmas Day
December 25
Personal Holiday
Employee’s selection each calendar year

*Employees who are members of certain Unions are entitled to an additional personal leave day of their choice. Please refer to specific Collective Bargaining Agreements for more information.

Social Security
All state employees are covered by the federal Social Security and Medicare systems. The state and the employee pay an equal amount into the system.
Sick Leave
Full-time employees earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Paid sick leave may be used for reasons included in WAC 357-31-130.
Please visit the State HR Website for more detailed information.
State of Washington
View Job Posting for Agency Information

View Job Posting for Location, Washington, 98504.

View Posting for Agency Contact